Overview of Non-Age Related Macular Degeneration

Written by on May 2, 2011 in Eye Problems - No comments
Young woman having eye test

Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness in people over 65 years of age, but there are younger people who get juvenile macular degeneration. In order for you to better understand these distinctions, we will look at these types of non-age related macular degeneration here. When people talk of Juvenile Macular Degeneration, they are usually talking about one of the following diseases.

PICS (Punctate Inner Choroidpathy Syndrome)

PIC syndrome, or Punctate Inner Choroidpathy Syndrome, is one of the non-age related macular degeneration syndromes. People can get it as early as 16 years of age but also up until they are in their 40’s. PIC syndrome appears to be more common in females than males.

For people who have this non-age related macular degeneration condition, there are lesions that are white and inflammatory in their eye. Because of the lesions, a blind spot can develop, especially if they are clustered. They are usually in both eyes but are rarely ever symmetrical.

In the advanced stages of this disease, vision can become very poor. There can be scarring near the retina, which is hard to treat because even if you remove it, the area is already damaged because of this serious non-age related macular degeneration condition.

Best Disease

This disease is sometimes called Vitelliform Macular Dystrophy. People with the non-age related macular degeneration condition Best Disease usually get diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. It affects the macula and can be inherited from the parents without skipping a generation.

What happens is that a yellow cyst begins to form underneath the macula of the eye. Even though the person with the cyst has a non-age related macular degeneration, they may not notice any visual impact for many years. The problems happen when the cyst ruptures and the fluid inside spreads through the macula. This non-age related macular degeneration disease does not always affect both eyes in the exact same way and there is no current treatment to cure it.

Stargardt’s Disease

Stargardt’s disease is the most common form of the non-age related macular degeneration diseases. People tend to notice the appearance of Stargardt’s Disease in their early 20’s when their central vision is beginning to deteriorate but their peripheral vision is fine.

What this non-age related macular degeneration condition looks like to a doctor is that a lesion is in the retina and it is surrounded by spots. Eventually, photoreceptor cells begin to degenerate and by the time the person is 50, they have a 50% chance of being legally blind. Unlike with Best Disease, scientists have been able to find the gene responsible for this non-age related macular degeneration disease which makes it a bit more likely that there will be a cure at some point.

Seeing a doctor is the only way to be sure that you or your child has one of these forms of juvenile macular degeneration. Being aware that macular degeneration does happen to younger people is important because you can ask your doctor about it. These non-age related macular degeneration diseases are being studied as we speak so that cures and remedies can be found.

Comments are closed.